Marine microbial environment

​Mostly using the genetics and proteomics facilities at KAUST, a comprehensive analysis of microbial life in the Red Sea and a deep under-standing of the function of microbes for carbon fluxes and ecology of this ecosystem will be accomplished. The current work, predominantly by GCR partners, has involved observation and sampling in various Red Sea locations, from dive boats and coastal locations by divers. This survey will provide comparative analyses of microbial communities, genetic capacities and metabolic pathways throughout the Red Sea that can be exploited for pharmaceutical and bio¬technological applications. This inventory will be used as a baseline to determine metabolic hot spots for more detailed analysis as well as culturing efforts, and to determine an ideal site for a microbial observatory. Furthermore, a molecular analysis of microbial communities will provide a first insight into adaptations of microbes to the high temperature and high salinity and low carbon content of the Red Sea. Future work will involve the establishment of a time series site, readily accessible from KAUST by boat allowing rapid access and sampling as conditions and environment change. This time series will provide detailed data on how bacterial communities and their physiology change over different time spans. The survey will be completed in the cruises with a larger ship such as the R/V AEGAEO as mentioned below. For detailed analyses and sampling, a total of 15 boat trips per year with a smaller research vessel are expected.

Collaborators

  • Stingl

  • Ravasi (CBRC)